Barbusa

4.6
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1736 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Barbusa Local Modern Sicilian Restaurant.
Lively atmosphere with our craft cocktails, handmade pastas, freshest seafood, delicate pizza, and our famous Sicilian Ribeye.

Crudo Bar open Nightly and Pizza Served from our stone fired oven.

Gluten free and Vegan Items Available



Due to high Demand We will give a 15 min Grace period for reservations. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a table after the grace period.


Specials

Happy Hour

Drink and Food Specials
Available at the Bar High Tops

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: October 10, 2018

Ends: October 11, 2117

Availability: Mon-Thu 4:00PM-6:00PM

What 1736 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good experience, but not great. Would have loved a little more time with our server to go over wine options. No major complaints - it’s a loud bustling restaurant (even on a Monday night)!

B
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious. We are from out of town and someone recommend this place. Great place to meet friends.

JB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We had a 7:30 reservation. Arrived at 7:30, was told it would be a moment. One moment turned into 35 minutes. We were seated at 8:10. They comped us a drink for the inconvenience, after the fact. Food was very good. But there are plenty of other great restaurants in the city that have great food and also know how to manage a reservation and communicate. I’ll be going to those restaurants in the future instead.

B
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was very good. If you wear reading glasses, you will need them to read the menu. Place is oriented towards social interaction, so why the need to pipe in music at decibels above level of normal conversation?

MB
San Diego
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We booked a table here to celebrate a friend leaving for Italy for 4 months. Our waiter was outstanding and entertaining! Everyone enjoyed their meals - special shout out to the risotto and gnocchi, YUMMM!

S
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I’ve been wanting to come here for a while and what better day than Valentine’s Day. The service was great, drinks were great. Noise level was a bit loud for a date night but it was probably due to how packed it was for the holiday. We ordered the oysters and garlic bread to start. Both were fantastic. For our main entrees, my date ordered the Granchio and I ordered a chicken dish (not the same chicken dish from their regular menu). The granchio was great but the chicken was lacking. It came out a bit cold and the presentation was underwhelming. Overall, still a great dinning experience.

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Service was ok , food ok ...

KB
Cheshire
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Barbusa. It was our last evening in San Diego and felt like a perfect send off. Our waiter, Ara, was wonderful and so attentive and the food was gorgeous. Couldn’t recommend Barbusa enough, 10/10.

BT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience1

I picked this place because it advertised itself as Sicilian, but was quite disappointed. They didn’t even have one Nero D’Avola on the wine list, and the 2 wines we tried were some of the least representative Sicilian wines I’ve ever had. Their big board appetizer plates were OK, but there was nothing outstanding or memorable. The level of cooking was mediocre and the ingredients seemed to include off notes like cream cheese. The pasta I ordered was almost inedible- mushy bland beef in gooey tortellacci with an overly sweet tomato sauce that was on everything. You know that feeling when you’re thinking “Chef Boyardee?” Very wrong. Most of the menu items were touristic and American Italian, like “Sicilian ribeye.” I’ve been to Sicily and remember that everything we put in our mouths the entire time was delicious, like it should be. Plus the place was deafening and impossible to have a decent conversation in, and way way overpriced. Bad call on my part.

S
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is spectacular. Haven't had a bad thing on the menu. Ask the server for a appetizer platter if your in a group and want to try a few different apps. Unbelievable service and food!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful! The food never fails. Such a great experience always. Will continue to bring people here

RG
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Prior to driving to San Diego to take an important client to dinner , I did a lot of checking online vetting the best Italian Restaurant in Little Italy . I bypassed the usual Yelp , Trip Advisor and read the San Diego Union - Tribune ' s Food Critic . Barbusa was one of four he recommended . I looked at all four websites and chose Barbusa for its more adventurous menu , wine list and location .
For a sunday night , I was somewhat shocked at how crazy busy it was . Congrats to them ! They are obviously doing a lot right !

OT
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was so fun and offered great recommendations. The zucchini flowers were fantastic!

CM
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Barbusa has authentic Sicilian cuisine. The meatballs remind me of those my mother would make when I was young. The marinara is savory with a hint of sweetness. The meat is tender and melts in your mouth. The wait staff on a busy Saturday night hails from Italy. The only drawback is that the place is so popular that you must make a reservation to get a table and expect the conversations to be loud and exuberant. This is not an intimate dining experience, it is a boisterous food hall.

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The serving staff were very professional, well spoken and friendly. The food was amazing! My husband and I went for a pre Valentine’s Day meal and will definitely be returning! Every dish was perfect!

KA
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food, cocktails, ambience, and service were all on point. Amazing dinner!

LC
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pasta! Recommend the Carbonara.

HH
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The short ribs carpaccio & squid ink pasta was delish!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were amazing as usual.

TO
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great dinnet there. I and my husband ordered meatbols, pasta, coctails and marinara salad. Everything was delicious!

HL
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We tried the burrata, squash blossoms, tomahawk pork and the carbonara.
Burrata was overworked (not creamy like it should have been) tomatoes were not ripe.
Squash blossoms were heavily battered, good flavor, but not delicate in the least bit.
Tomahawk was overcooked by about 4 minutes. Flavor was good but the execution was a major disappointment.
Carbonara had wonderful flavor, however, the house made pasta was too thick. It needed to be rolled at least 2 settings (on the pasta roller) thinner.

KM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Overal the experience was good! The food was absolutely amazing but the service was lacking.
I would return for the food though, without hesitation.

OK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Informed them that it was a birthday for my date and was not given any happy bday greetings or acknowledgement at all. Somewhat disappointing.

Service was excellent. Bruschetta was very soggy and not good.

Drinks were good and burratta was excellent. Overall it was average at best

EQ
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure to eat here that’s why it’s one of our favorite places to go for a lunch date or dinner. Nothing beats the Busaboard full of appetizers

OT
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall2food3service4ambience4

Food was ok, two people inour party got sick on the oysters.

k
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food1service4ambience4

It's a packed restaurant (at least on Saturday night). We checked in on time and got seated about 15 min after our reservation time which was fine. The server was on point and drinks/food came out at at perfect timing. The food quality is not bad, but it's just not good and not really close to authentic Italian. A lot of pictures of the dishes online via the business owner just do not look anything like what comes out. For instance the squash blossoms looked like heavily breaded chicken legs. There was a TON of batter on them that took away from the ricotta/flower. Additionally the carbonara with peas, is not egg based in the sauce. While it does have an egg yolk floating on the top for a nice presentation, it's literally fettuccine alfredo with peas and an egg yolk. The meat (think it was bacon) was very, very smokey. Again, not terrible quality but just not a carbonara in the least. Finally the Neapolitan style pizza is not that at all. I did notice a wood fire oven in the kitchen, but if it's cooked in there it's placed on wire racks (you can see indentations from them on the bottom of dough) not brick. It is not crispy at all and is very soft and doughy. The only good aspect I suppose, besides the service is the the prices are not terribly high, but I guess this is reflected in the food.

OT
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience2

Calamari too sweet.. music too loud for lunch . Short rib plate was cold

OT
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is amazing! Best Italian I’ve had in a long time! Highly recommend the gnocchi!

MP
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal service, fantastic food. Best dining experience I’ve had in years!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tasty food, personable service and great drinks!

BF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best italian in San Diego! Atmosphere was fun and energetic, with amazing service. From the oysters and cheese and meats to start, to the handmade pasta I was Impressed. I will definitely be back!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time celebrating a birthday. The server gave excellent food and wine suggestions. We especially loved the pasta with crabmeat. It was a great way to end a weekend.

FO
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

good Italian food. Not much for side orders which is a shame.

OT
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

A bit of a problem on arrival in that I changed the reservation to an earlier time and to standard seating instead of high top. The hostess claimed the seating remained high top. After a conversation she accommodated the standard seating. The food was delicious. Overall the experience was good.

C
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Fresh ingredients, great flavor! Love the calamari and Sicilian meatballs. My favorite in little Italy!

d
San Diego
71 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant! Everything is always great. Wonderful cocktails, delicious appetizers, fabulous food & desserts. The waiters do a fabulous job, attentive but not pestering!! Definitely a must go. We had meatballs, burrata appies. Truffle Gnocchi, ragu type dish & pizza. Plenty of food for 4 to share.

d
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

noisy restaurant. good food and reasonable esp at happy hour!
enjoyed the cocktails.

SL
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, drinks and service! This was my first time at Barbusa and it did not disappoint. I was with a party of 6 and we all loved everything. Get the gnocchi!

NP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

They have changed their menu and the new menu doesn't even come close to the items on the previous menu. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego and I was so disappointed at my last visit. I couldn't believe it. I am not sure why they changed the menu but the food quality has definitely suffered. The staff also seems to have changed. Our server was rude, but we tolerated it because he was an older gentleman. I don't think I will be coming back anytime soon.

OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great , great ambiance and service. Just a little too noisy and had to wait 20 mn even with a reservation